Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2016 Preview: Darnell Sweeney

As we move toward the 2016 season, let us take a look at each player on the roster and what a reasonably successful season would look like. We started with Aaron Nola. Our most recent entry was Peter Bourjos.

Name: Darnell Sweeney
Position: Infielder/Outfielder
Age: 25 in February
Bat/Throw: Both/Right
Experience: 37 games

What we saw in 2015 

Darnell Sweeney arrived as part of the Chase Utley deal. Truth be told, I had hoped he'd be a part of the Jimmy Rollins trade the previous offseason. While he hit below the Mendoza Line (.176) and whiffed in more than 27 percent of his plate appearances, he did walk in an astounding 13.3 percent and had an ISO of .176. To put that in perspective, Jimmy Rollins had an ISO of 162 from 2001 to 2012. Sweeney has a nice skill set. He's got a nice level of patience, some impressive power and wheels. While he has yet to steal a base at the big league level, Sweeney swiped 42 bases in 2013 and 32 last year in the minors. Speaking of the bushes, he has shown he can hit for average, having hit .294 and .288 in two of his full seasons.

Important goals for 2016

Playing time: It's probably safe to assume Sweeney will start the season in the Major Leagues. While he doesn't have a set position, he can play second base and the outfield. That should mean he could get into 80-110 games on this team.
Power numbers: The Phillies don't have a tremendous amount of pop. If Sweeney can provide some extra-base power through doubles and homers, he'll find him self in the lineup more often. In some ways, he could do what Jeff Francoeur did for the Phillies while also providing more of a stolen base threat.
Defense: Sweeney isn't known as a great defender. That doesn't mean he can't be a good one. If he proves to be a reliable in the field, he's going to get more chances to play.


 Look, Sweeney's game has some warts. But he also seems to show some improvements in his game at each level he's played. If he can continue to grow, the Phillies might have gotten something of good value in the Utley deal.
Getting Sweeney into 25-35 games at second base and 30-50 games in the outfield would definitely be worthwhile for the Phillies.